Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Attractive Eyesore

In nooks and crannies, lurk many an interesting site. While walking along Portland Street recently, I came across these 'blocked' windows. The graffitti is ugly, but the flowers bring beauty to an isolated nook.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Enter Portland

Beauty on the waterfront? Eyesore? Situated up on Eastern Promenade is Portland Place. The large yellow-stoned condo overlooks Casco Bay with the East End Beach below. Coming into the city by boat, it's hard to miss.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Flatiron Building

On Portland Street, I just call it the flat-iron building. It's really one of my favorite structures in the city. A friend of mine, an old timer, Ray lived in one of the apartments here with his mom. I road the bus with him, early mornings, when we both worked for the city at Evergreen Cemetery. We got teamed up summers cleaning gravestones. Working alongside him, I learned a lot about the city's history, and I learned a lot about LIFE! He's been gone awhile now... Thanks Ray!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

George C

George Cleeve statue in front of Portland Yacht Services.
George Cleeve (ca. 1586- after 1666) was an early settler and "founder" of the city of Portland. This statue has been moved around a bit. It's got a bit of a nomadic history; I guess you could say. There was a time that nobody wanted it. I think it's cool... Cleeve is seen looking up the Hill to the city proper.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

East End Floats

East End Beach looks lonely on the early morning visit. It's just a short stroll to the Old Port from here with lots to view: trains, boats, automobiles and a lot more.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Means to an End

The Means House(1797) at the Tate House Museum.
"After Captain George Tate's death in 1794 and following the Revolutionary War, Captain James Means (1753-1832) in 1797, built a splendid new home on a triangle of land overlooking the site of the mast yard. Captain Means had been at Valley Forge and supposedly "served long" with George Washington during the revolution. According to tradition, Lafayette, in 1825, visited the Means House. A beautiful Federal-style home, with a hipped-roof and high interior ceilings, Means House remained a private residence until March of 1996, when, marking the 100th anniversary of their founding, the Colonial Dames in the State of Maine embarked upon an exciting new project. The Means House was purchased by the Colonial Dames to be a support arm for the Society and for general operations of the Tate House Museum."

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Two Footer

I'm off for a few days, but don't fret, I'll still be posting some images of the city and my world. Be back soon!

Maine's Narrow Gauge Railroad, aka the Two-footer, can be enjoyed running along the East End Beach area. Seen here is a close-up of the coupling device on the front of the engine.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fish Art

Art is where you find it. I heard this somewhere, but who said it and why escapes me at this moment. Here on Commercial Street, amid the smell of the ocean, the rushing traffic and delivery trucks straddling the center of the thoroughfare, sits this sculpture. A small stone wall and a bench will give one a brief respite to a bustling world whirring by. On the waterfront... kinda cool!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Italian Sandwiches

When my sister from Oregon visits back home, one of the first things she needs to do is take a trip to one of the many Amato's and get herself a loaded italian sandwich. My first experience with an 'italian' (ham, cheese, tomatoes, onions, green peppers, pickles and topped of with black olives and oil. Add salt and pepper to taste), I must admit, was not at Amato's, but at Carbone's Market at Morrills Corner. It was a duplex with a barroom on the right hand side and market on the left. The small mom and pop store had all the staples and saved you a trip to the new, and big A&P. But a big selling item, especially at lunch time or in the late afternoon was their italians. They were delicious! And cheap... 35 cents, 3 for a dollar. What a deal! This photo was taken of a sign posted on most of the Amato's stores. As the story goes, in 1902 the 'Real Italian Sandwich' was born, created by a young Italian immigrant named Giovanni Amato. Around here these days, you can get one at just about any corner store. Go to just about any place else on the planet and ask for an 'italian', and they'll look at you like you ARE from outer space. To these two pictured, quite a tribute...if the story is true, of course. Ever had one?

Monday, June 21, 2010


Little League Three, as it was known back then, played its games on the Riverside Street field. These days it falls under the name of Deering North Little League. When I stepped on it for the first time, I remember it being almost pristine with a new concession stand and a public address system and announcers sitting above. The dugouts were brand new and really were 'dugouts' and not ones at ground level. The wooden outfield fence was painted dark green all around with, as I remember, a few advertisements. KP (Knights of Pythias), Christy's Market, Pratt Abbott Cleaners and Christy's Hardware were the teams, with my brother and me donning the red and white of KP. Spring and early summer nights were exciting back then on this beautiful field. I stopped by yesterday--Some major investments are needed to this field to bring it back to what it once was... a Beauty!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Afternoon Barn

Happy Fathers' Day!
I'm thinking of my Dad this morning. He was big on barns. When he knew we were looking for a old house back when, he gave me a bit of advice: 'make sure it has a barn'. Whew! It's some advice I'm glad I didn't take. The upkeep of one of these large structures can be astronomical! He did get a taste of barns himself. Growing up, we rented the house at 820 Washington Avenue with a huge barn. I spent my early school years in this house and had many adventures in structure attached to the house. Walking around on the ground floor or the attic, the aroma of cows permeated 'the world' around me. During our years on Washington, I remember being alone a lot with plenty of time for daydreaming and a good imagination while walking those wooden floors. The upstairs was full of packed boxes of old clothes and such. The most interesting being ones holding books and his WWII uniforms. He had a book of Bill Mauldin cartoons that I enjoyed looking at while sitting on a big pile of clothes. I liked roaming around up there, occasionally dodging the loud black crows that entered through the broken windows. I didn't like them! Today, the barn is still standing, but it has be turned into apartments. Dad wouldn't be happy!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

White Birdhouse

Early this morning
Lonely birdhouse hangs in sun
Another day waits.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Deck Roses

This morning our rose bush off the back deck can't wait for summer. It's bursting with color already and waiting for the bees. Off on a quick trip to NH this morning before the pending heat wave hits this weekend. Can't complain... it's summer in Maine. Enjoy the hazy, hot and humid while you can.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Cat Dreams

Now, for that age old question- do cats dream? Cripes! It's not if, I'm worried about, but what? They sleep constantly. They are the masters of sleep. They must be up to something! I read once that they have two main mantras: "If in doubt, wash" and "If bored, sleep". Based on my extended research, living with multiple felines for many a year, I'd have to say those incantations are not far from the truth. For quite a few years now, I've had the knack of being able to 'translate' thoughts from our Molly. For instance, in this shot she's caught in mid-sentence uttering something along the lines of: 'You want something? Now, go away!' Purrrrrrrrrrrrfect!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Slate Roof

This is one of my favorite homes in the West End. Near Waynflete School, just off Carroll Street the roof lines, slate roof, the vinework and chimneys all attract my interest. Dad's job, as a letter carrier, brought him up here daily for over 25 years. With houses like this, no wonder he loved his job. It's a rambling structure on the other side too, with lots of living space, but the views towards the water, from these 3rd floor windows, are what grab my attention.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sweet Dreams

Exciting day Sunday! The curtain went up on the 2010 season of the Maine State Music Theater yesterday with the soldout bio-musical Always... Patsy Cline. We have had season tickets since '98 and have seen over 50 shows. I do enjoy her music, and I always wondered what this musical was all about. It was a wonderful toe-tapping afternoon for me! Even though, my better half thought the gal was miscast, I enjoyed every number. Two of my favorites were "Back In Baby's Arms" and "Sweet Dreams" I'm looking forward to the rest of the season of My Fair Lady, Chicago and Spamalot. Have the three of us really driven to Brunswick over 50 Sundays? Amazing!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Patriotic Gull

June 14th-- ah, I seem to remember it well. Back then, school was ALWAYS out by the middle of June, no question about it. Flag Day was usually one of our last days before we broke for about 10 weeks. In eighth grade, Ms. Storer read Whitman's "Oh Captain!, My Captain!"(on the death of President Lincoln), a couple other patriotic poems she enjoyed and gave us a brief history of the holiday. To this day, I still remember this poem, because during our poem unit earlier in the year we all had to memorize a poem. I chose this one. I loved the imagery and the metaphors at work in it. Happy Flag Day!

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weathered every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribboned wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head!
It is some dream that on the deck,
You’ve fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchored safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
But I, with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Today, I'll be thinking of a close friend of mine. She's quite cool, and last summer we had fun at Willard.

Nickname: Calicakes

Favorite Color: baby blue
Spare time fun: playing with my friends, roller skating, riding my bike, tea parties
TV shows: Hannah Montana Wizards of Waverly Place
Sport: swimming in my pool and boogie boarding at Flagler Beach in Florida
Best Book: Annie: Boss of Girl's Packing Trip
Food: pasta!
Best friend : 3 way tie Maddie, Tristan, and Catherine
Subject: writing!
Big achievement this year: made a score of 4 in Math and a 4 in Reading on the state of Florida FCAT test (out of 5) Wow!!!
Favorite car: I want to drive when I'm 16 Corvette or Lamborghini
What I'm doing this summer: beach with the family and Oregon to visit Aunt Jo Jo and Uncle Bruce (wishing to ride his motorcycle)
Future ambition: artist or teacher

Well, that's Cali! Happy 9th Birthday to my niece Cali in Florida! Let me see-- do I even remember Nine?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Adios Amigo

In another of my spring garden series, today I bid adieu to my favorite flower: the iris. There are still quite a few around in gardens behind the garage and off the deck, but they'll be fading fast this week ahead. Yesterday, I finished Phase III at Turning Point, my cardiac workout gym. At this point, I'm moving into my summer routine and for the time being plan to be working out on my own. I might return, in awhile. The comaraderie is addictive! On the exercise front-- I've been impressed that I've stuck with it... noting how much I've hated 'exercising in any way' in the past. Ah, but life presses on. Goodbyes are said. Changes are made. Doors open, that we didn't even know existed last week. As they say, it's the way of the world.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Garden Variety

These birdhouses in the rain stand resilient. Look closely, there are lots of colors here brought forth by some steady moisture. This garden is one of my favorite places to take a walk in the rain. It's a good place to photograph; it's a good place just to stroll and think. The sun returns today. Enjoy the weekend.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Lily Pads

Frog Went A-Courtin' was one of my favorite songs growing up. I remember having a small red record, like a 78, in this cardboard record box that we'd take out and play, especially on rainy days. We'd all sing along with Mom. What I didn't know was that there are various versions, including one by Bob Dylan with 19 verses! Wow! I found myself humming this song, with all the wrong words, while taking this picture yesterday afternoon down the road a piece. Strange! Where did that come from??

Froggie Went A-Courtin'

Frog went a-courtin' and he did ride, Uh-huh,Frog went a-courtin', and he did ride, Uh-huh,
Frog went a-courtin', and he did ride.
With a sword and a pistol by his side, Uh-huh.

Well he rode up to Miss Mousey's door, Uh-huh,
Well he rode up to Miss Mousey's door, Uh-huh,
Well he rode up to Miss Mousey's door.
Gave three loud raps and a very big roar, Uh-huh.

Said, "Miss Mouse, are you within?" Uh-huh,
Said he, "Miss Mouse, are you within?" Uh-huh,
Said, "Miss Mouse, are you within?"
"Yes, kind sir, I sit and spin," Uh-huh.

He took Miss Mousey on his knee, Uh-huh,
Took Miss Mousey on his knee, Uh-huh,
Took Miss Mousey on his knee.
Said, "Miss Mousey, will you marry me?" Uh-huh.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Early Morning

As the city wakes, this foggy morning the Dogfish Bar and Grille on Free Street takes a breather from the night before. A bit of a different look here---This place looks a lot 'thinner' without cars in the parking lots to right and left and depressing without music(acoustic, blues and jazz) and faces looking out the windows.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Daddy's Garden

It's in need of some paint and a screw or two, but this signpost has been our garden for the last 10 summers or so. It was a Christmas gift from J-, with the horizontal sign that used to read 'Daddy's Garden'. Along with a couple of birdhouses, it's in need of a little TLC. Over the last few weeks or so, we've spent some time working in and around our vegetable garden. For one thing-- we've attempted to deer-proof the garden a bit more with some new, higher fencing. We'll see soon, if our hard work was worth it. Also, planned for the area this summer... a scarecrow. Never had one but have wanted one for some time now. Keep watching, if he makes an appearance, you'll know about it.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Lavender Iris

This past week was prime time for all the irises in our gardens. Deep purples, pale yellows, wine-burgundies, and these lavender purples were all about. It's a beautifully, uplifting time of year to step out, near 6 AM, into a cool morning breeze and be faced with these. Van Gogh really was on to something when he painted them.

An Iris Blessing

By Georgia Gudykunst

May your blooms be floriferous and in good form,
Distinctive, with good substance, flare, and airborne,
With standards and falls that endure, never torn.
May you display many buds and blooms sublime,
In graceful proportion on strong stalks each day,
Gently floating above the fans and the fray.
May you too reach toward the moon and stars,
Bloom after bloom, many seasons in the sun,
Enjoying your life, health, and each loved one,
Until your 'living days are artfully done.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Blue Dress

Here's another shot in my 'blue period'. As you might remember, last week I attended a Civil War Reenactment in the area. As some of the Virginia- reeling was set to begin, I spied this dress. I thought the blue on white color scheme was to die for. Of all the ladies' dresses, this one seem to steal the show as she wheeled around the dance floor. And as for the color blue, it is my favorite color of all. My clothing color choices run the gamut of the color wheel, but I probably have more solid blue or blue-tinged items in my wardrobe. Like food, I'd wear any color once, but do indeed feel most secure, I feel, in this particular hue. I do hope it doesn't rain today. Got lots to do... and it sometimes puts me in a blue mood.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Blue on Blue

After a powerful thunderstorm swept through southern Maine early this morning, I'm waiting for some of this 'blue on blue' time today. The forecast says they'll be some but not much. As they say, it might not be perfect, but it'll be good enough. After all, it's a Saturday! Enjoy the day!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Kids' Play

Our family started our relationship with the Children's Museum when it was situated on the Westbrook College campus, back in the late 80's. It was called the Portland Children's Museum back then. J- thought it was great fun, even though in quite cramped quarters in one of the old college dormitories on Stevens Avenue. Since the early 90's, it has resided, under the title seen here: the Children's Museum of Maine, in this 4,000 square foot Victorian building on Free Street, right next to the Portland Museum of Art. If you're in or coming to the city this summer with children, this kid-friendly building is a 'don't miss' attraction. J- would attest to that!

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Call them lupin; call them lupine. Regardless of the spelling, they're an amazing flowering plant. One of the harbingers of early summer for me is the scattering of lupines along the highways around here. In the fog, in the sun, or in the rain they are resilient and can totally pick me up on a lazy, unmotivated day. They seem to love rocks and hillsides. I guess they can get along with everyone... except me. I have not had good luck trying to grow them at the homestead. Our chipmunks LOVE them also!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Blue Harley

I'm not playing 'head games' here, but this place has been voted best haircut in Portland, 4 years running. Me! I have not had a traditional haircut, since I left Adam's Barber Shop at Morrills Corner livid, at the tender age of 18. The old guy actually had a slight grin of the lips, that I detected, as left in a huff. That was it! NEVER again, I said, would I EVER grace the inside of a barber shop, and except for a weak moment or two or three in a salon(thanks Linda!) with pretty fingers massaging my scalp before and after the cut, I have held true to my word. He cost 'barbers and salons of the world' a lot of greenbacks that afternoon. Outside of Head Games(a Salon for Hair and Body), in the early morning haze and smoke from the Quebec fires, this bike waits to tousle my hair in the wind. I could take a chance here! Forgiveness? At what price?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Theme Day: Funny Signs

Today, June 1, 2010, is Theme Day across the CDPB (citydailyphotoblog) community. Funny signs? Ok, let me say this at the outset--- this is a stupid theme day assignment. Moving on-- I must admit that when E- and I first spied this restaurant doorway, we both had to smile, and I think we both rolled our eyes a bit too. Come on... a restaurant with NO FOOD or DRINK ALLOWED????? I've never sampled the culinary delights here , but I hear, from a reliable source in VT, that the food is wonderful. My ONLY question is "How would anyone know?" hahahaha!